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Czech Republic, Germany, Latvia & Spain compete for Tokyo Olympic women's berths

Germany's Sandra Ittlinger (left) and Chantal Laboureur celebrate a win Saturday over Italy to advance to the finals of the FIVB Tokyo Beach Volleyball Olympic Qualification tournament in Haiyang, China.
Haiyang, China, September 22, 2019 - Women's pairs from the Czech Republic, Germany, Latvia and Spain will compete here Sunday for two berths in the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games.

Elsa Baquerizo/Liliana Fernandez of Spain meet Sandra Ittlinger/Chantal Laboureur of Germany in the first final at 10 a.m. (local time) on Golden Beach of the FIVB Tokyo Beach Volleyball Qualification tournament followed by the second final featuring Tina Graudina/Anastasija Kravcenoka of Latvia against Barbora Hermannova/Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic.

Germany defeated Elsa and Liliana Wednesday in the first FIVB match between the two teams with Ittlinger and Laboureur posting a 2-0 (23-21, 21-19) Pool G win in 43 minutes over the Spaniards.  While Elsa and Liliana have been playing together since 2008 with appearances in the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the Germans are competing together internationally for the first time this season.

Sunday’s second match features newly-crowned European champions Graudina and Kravcenoka meeting the Czech Republic team for the first-time in a FIVB-sanctioned match.  Hermannova and Slukova have been competing internationally since the mid-2000s with an appearance together in the Rio Olympics.  The Latvians are completing their second full season on the FIVB circuit.

On Saturday, the day of the 29th anniversary of beach volleyball being granted Olympic medal status, Latvians Martin Plavins and Edgars Tocs captured the first men's final at the FIVB Tokyo Beach Volleyball Qualification tournament by defeating Ilya Leshukov and Konstantin Semenov of Russia 2-1 (12-21, 22-20, 15-8) in 46 minutes.

In the second final on Saturday, Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai of Italy posted a 2-0 (21-17, 21-19) win in 35 minutes over Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands in a match pitting two teams that captured medals at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Men's winners Saturday were (left to right) Paolo Nicolai, Daniele Lupo, Edgars Tocs and Martin Plavins.

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